Kokimoto's Riding on Mercury retrograde
Iliev's latest display reminds us that all humans are mortal
1 December, 2017
Provocative artist Kaloyan Iliev alias Kokimoto opens a new exhibition at Arosita art gallery in Sofia on 3 December, the day on which Mercury goes retrograde yet again. That is why, it is by no chance that the display will be held under this motto and will be on until 17 December, when the astrological phenomenon will end its impact on us.
When a planet is retrograde, it is considered in a resting state, and is unable to control the activities for which it is responsible, thus causing at times confusion bordering on havoc amidst human society. That is why Mercury retrograde is perceived negatively. “This public mindset drew my mind to the research which I began in early 2016, and after delving deeper into the matter as an artist, I discovered positive trends about the period known as Mercury retrograde as well. And the next thing I knew, I no longer saw it as a limitation, but as an opportunity, not a fault, but an advantage instead,” Kokimoto argued.
Mercury goes retrograde three to four times in a year for about a month. When the idea for the exhibition formed, the artist awaited each of those periods to create his works. Mercury retrograde is characterised with increased imagination and thirst for knowledge, and creative people are in for some very productive days, but their working pace slows down, which enables them to reflect on themselves and give in to their fantasies, the artist maintained. “For two years I have been using this potential patiently and methodically by executing my ideas on the subject matter only when Mercury was retrograde,” Kaloyan Iliev added.
Thus his works give life to apocryphal saints, and Eastern fatalism goes hand in hand with European existential sorrow in a series of drawings, graphic prints, sculptures and collages, which the author uses to remind us that even if they live well, all humans are mortal. He takes advantage of the last Mercury retrograde cycle for the year to end his project in an exhibition and to engage in examining, analysing and living through his creations on a conscious and subconscious level, reconsidering the past.
Kaloyan Iliev alias Kokimoto was born in 1979 in Varna, Bulgaria. He completed an MA in Graphics at the Department of Fine Arts at Veliko Turnovo University, and specialised at the Graphic Art Department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Lodz, Poland. He has held 30 solo exhibitions in Bulgaria, Belgium and Denmark, and has taken part in more than 170 collective exhibitions, festivals of contemporary art, and other artistic events throughout the world. He has received 15 awards for graphics, ex libris, drawings, and paintings. In the spring of 2014, at the request by the Archdiocese of Varna, the city council cancelled his pop art show entitled Erotic Notes in the Wheels of the Eastern Orthodox Machine, because the mixing of images of clerics with pictures of unbridled, licentious women in it was considered offensive to Christian morals and values.